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Business of Dáil (Continued)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 906 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl] The Taoiseach has brought a proposal before us today. That is what we have to decide on now and nothing else. Therefore, I am putting the question.

  Question, "That the motion, as proposed by the Taoiseach, be agreed to", put and declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The next item to be put to the House is the proposal from the Taoiseach that, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, a non-party Deputy may be included in the opening speeches on all statements, and, second, that the statements on housing and homelessness be brought to a conclusion after four hours. That is a two-hour extension. Is the proposal, as circulated to Members, agreed to?

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh There was a proposal earlier by my leader that the Order for today be changed. You said that the only person who could make that change was the Taoiseach and that the Dáil could then agree to it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Yes.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh In fact, what he said-----

Deputy Charles Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan Zoom on Charles Flanagan No, it was proposed not changed.

Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh: Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh There is a proposal before us and we have suggested an amendment to it. The amendment is that the business set down the last day, 10 March, not be taken today and that a motion on water charges that is currently on the Order Paper be taken in its stead. That is an amendment. I am respectfully asking that the amendment be taken and put to the House prior to the proposal from the Taoiseach, as is the current tradition.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Equally respectfully I am responding to you by saying that as a Member of longer standing than me you know very well that Standing Order 200(3) precludes me from taking that proposal from you. It is not possible under the Standing Orders. However, tomorrow, when the sub-committee on Dáil reform meets, if you want to change all those Standing Orders, you can change them, provided we can build consensus around that. While we sit today, that is not possible and I cannot take the proposal. The proposal we have to agree on is whether we accept that non-party Deputies should be able to contribute today and whether there will be two hours additional speaking time on the issue of housing.

Deputy David Cullinane: Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane A Cheann Comhairle, I accept your ruling but the reality is that if we come back in April and the Taoiseach has not amended Standing Orders, then we are going to have the same debate.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl The Taoiseach will not be amending Standing Orders, the House will.

Deputy David Cullinane: Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane We are going to have the same debate again when we come back in April. As Deputy Doherty said, the only two items on the agenda will be the possibility of electing a taoiseach and amendments to Standing Orders. With respect, we have no wish to come back again in a couple of weeks' time. We want to sit and do our job. We have no wish to come back again and have the same exchanges about motions we want to discuss.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Can you resume your seat, Deputy Cullinane?

Deputy David Cullinane: Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane I am putting a question, with respect, to An Taoiseach. Will he consider the issues which have been expressed by many Members? This is not show-boating, as someone said. These are genuine and sincere issues that we want to debate as soon as possible. Unless the Taoiseach gives us clarification, we do not know what issues we will or will not be discussing when we come back in two weeks' time. That is not good enough.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Can you resume your seat, Deputy Cullinane? Your leader has adequately addressed those issues. The sub-committee on Dáil reform meets tomorrow. Sinn Féin will be very well represented on the sub-committee. Many of the proposals your party has put forward, Deputy Cullinane, are solid, sustainable proposals which, I imagine, Members on all sides of the House will be able to agree on. As chairman of that committee, I am determined that we can come out of tomorrow's meeting with a series of proposals to put to the House for immediate change on 6 April. However, it is a matter for the House to change the Standing Orders.

Question,"That the proposal from the Taoiseach that, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, a non-party Deputy may be included in the opening speeches on all statements and, second, that the statements on housing and homelessness be brought to a conclusion after four hours," put and declared carried.


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